DELMARVA ALMANAC

Bringing The Outside In - Eastern Shore Style

by Keyanna Bowen

Keyanna Bowen is a blogger and interior design and fashion aficionado. She’s here to help us bring the outdoors in – Eastern Shore Style.

From coastal waters, to rustic woodlands, Delmarva's geography is diverse and captivating. Although I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a nature enthusiast, I do love being outdoors. I can spend hours outside during the spring and summer months lounging on the beach, taking walks through the woods, or even just relaxing on my patio. The colors, textures, and patterns of nature are inspiring, and my love for the outdoors has me constantly looking for ways to replicate nature's beauty inside my home.

Now, of course, I can go to a fancy home décor store and purchase expensive "nature-inspired" objects for my home… and trust me, there's nothing wrong with that-- who doesn't love a little shopping splurge? But because Delmarva is abundant in natural resources, us locals have the privilege of being able to shop for the perfect home accessory, without spending a penny, right in our own backyard. So today I'm going to share 5 natural elements to gather up the next time your outdoors that can be turned into trendy décor for your home.

Let's start with the obvious one, as they say, April showers bring May flowers, beautiful buds are blooming everywhere. A flower arrangement is one of the easiest ways to bring the outdoors in and add color to your home. If you don't have any wildflowers or perennials plants on your property, you can always ask a friend or neighbor if you can pick a few of theirs. Before picking any wildflowers or native plants, make sure you do a little research the flower, as some can be poisonous. Now I'll be honest, picking an assortment of flowers and making an arrangement out of them can be somewhat of an art, so if you don't really have that creative knack, what I like to do is cluster a few vintage glass bottles on a table and put one flower in each of the bottles. It's a simple centerpiece, but adds so much charm to your table setting.

The second natural element to look for when your outdoors are fallen tree branches. Branches are very sculptural, so they can add lots of interest to a boring space. It's easy to integrate branches into your décor. I like to spray paint the tips with gold or metallic spray paint and place them in a large floor vase for an elegant statement. If you love a rustic look, find a branch slightly longer than your window frame and hang with brackets for a DIY curtain rod.

If you really want to amp up the rustic vibe in your home, then be on the lookout for deer antlers the next time you're taking a walk through the woods. Bucks tend to shed their antlers between January and April, so you may be able to still find a few. Instead of hanging the antlers over the fireplace mantel as you typically see, place them amidst a gallery or picture wall. You can even put a picture frame around the antler to make it feel like a piece of 3d art. Or have the antlers function as a coat rack. Like the tree branches, you can paint the tips a metallic or bright color for a nice juxtaposition between masculine and feminine.

Living on the coast it's virtually impossible not to want to incorporate some aquatic objects into your décor. So for the fourth item on my "outdoors shopping list", you're going to have to head to the beach. Woohoo! Collect shells, sea glass, stones, sand, and small pieces of driftwood. If you have kids, you probably already have some of these objects stashed at the bottom of a beach bag, not knowing what to do with them. I like to display my beach treasures in a terrarium with succulents, or a decorative bell jar. It instantly adds a stylish but organic feel to any vignette.

Now this last one is a little bit of a twist, because you're not looking for a tangible object to take home, but a snapshot. Yes, I'm talking about taking pictures of nature for your home. This is hands down one of the best ways to bring the outdoors in because not only does that picture serve as décor but it also tells a story. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about photography is that you have to be skilled. I've seen gorgeous pictures of ocean city sunsets and horses at Assateague taken right on a camera phone. So you don't have to be a professional, you just need something to capture. And boy does Delmarva have amazing sites to capture. If you're just starting out, try taking Pictures of a sunset or flowers, they are pretty much fail proof, and is a great way to incorporate more color into your home.

Of course, nothing beats actually being outside, but you'll be surprised how much adding a little nature to your interior will improve your mood and the overall look and feel of your home. So the next time your outdoors, I give you permission to shop till you drop! For these DIY's and more Décor tips, you can visit my blog at eastandlane.com for pictures of these DIY tips.